‘The most remarkable military demonstration ever witnessed in Sussex took place this morning, when 7,000 from the London Command Depot at Shoreham and the Royal Marine Engineering Works at Southwick marched to the Brighton Town Hall to protest against the delay in the demobilisation of the troops.’
Evening Argus, 6th January 1919. (Quote credit 7)
As the war drew to a close in 1919 the men at Shoreham Camp began to filter back home.
However, local newspapers and Government meetings reported unrest amongst the men still waiting to be demobilised. For a war weary country, there was concern caused when, on 6th January 1919, 7,000 men from the Shoreham and Southwick Camps marched to Brighton to see the Mayor and demand faster demobilisation. The Evening Argus newspaper reported that they particularly resented being confined to the Camp to wash, clean and do ‘women’s work’ when they could be home finding real jobs. The dispute was ended peacefully a few days later after Lloyd George himself responded to a telegram from the soldiers explaining the need for patience until a peace settlement had been agreed. Within a few weeks, the Government position on demobilisation had changed, however, and it gradually speeded up.
Find out more
Watch a film created by Worthing College Students about Morale and Mutiny in the Camp.
Read more about the mutiny and the earlier discontent that affected the daily life of the soldiers in camp in this article written by local researcher Hilary Greenwood:
‘Mutinies at Shoreham Camp’
Key Sources: West Sussex County Times, West Sussex Gazette, Worthing Gazette and Horsham Times. Accessed at Worthing Library, Courtesy of West Sussex County Council Library Service www.westsussexpast.org.uk The Evening Argus, accessed via the Keep archive, Falmer